Immigration

Ron Paul: Soft on Immigration?

|

Super keep-em-out-er Tom Tancredo gets bummed by Ron Paul's latest comments on immigration in his new New York Times bestseller Liberty Defined, as reported by Jim Antle in American Spectator:

Is Ron Paul the next "pro-immigration libertarian" to bedevil conservativesVDare's Washington Watcher columnist surveys Liberty Defined, Paul's latest book, and finds a "tragic turnaround on immigration." In an email to supporters of his PAC Friday, Tom Tancredo accused his former congressional colleague and fellow 2008 Republican presidential candidate of doing a "180 turn" on immigration and "standing with La Raza and the Chamber of Commerce."

"I have served with Ron Paul in Congress for ten years and consider him a friend," Tancredo continued. "While we have differed very publicly on issues such as the threat of Radical Islam, he had generally been an ally on immigration in Congress. He was a solid vote against amnesty, a leader in ending birthright citizenship, and joined my Immigration Reform Caucus."

According to these critics (I haven't read Liberty Defined yet), in his book Paul repeats cliches about illegal aliens only doing jobs Americans won't do, canards about using the Army for mass deportations, and comes out for some kind of "generous visitor worker program" that bars participants from receiving government benefits. Paul remains opposed to amnesty—though Tancredo characterizes this last position as "amnesty with an 'asterisk'"—and birthright citizenship, but is also against Arizona's SB 1070, E-Verify, and employer sanctions against hiring illegal aliens.

While Tancredo might be angry that there is no concentrated tone of anger or vilification toward immigration, Paul specifically does in the book tip his hat toward Hans-Hermann Hoppe's theories that in a fully libertarian world of nothing but private property, free migration would be highly restricted.

And when Paul lays out immigration policy in the book, it goes something like this: abolish the welfare state to eliminate incentives to freeload; have a generous visitor work program for those who want to come here to work; also have more border guards to enforce current laws, and permit states to enforce current immigration law. End birthright citizenship. Stop all federal mandates for free education and medical care for illegal immigrants. No legally compelled bilingualism.

Do not, however, punish employers for not enforcing immigration laws themselves. No citizenship for current illegal immigrants, but grant them some sort of "in-between status," which he grants might be problematic but he sees as better than trying to ship millions of them out. And police should be able to determine someone's citizenship if they have already been "caught participating in a crime."

This all might not be as harsh and angry as Tancredo likes toward people who cross borders without proper papers, but it's far from the more free-wheeling attitude toward immigration that is often pushed around these parts and that really aggravates the Tancredos of the world. Paul refers to "completely closed borders and totally open borders" as "two rash options."

It seems to me the Paul approach just might work in GOP primaries even if it doesn't meet 100 percent no borders libertarian standards. That "no borders" thing is an idea that Paul refers to as "the ideal libertarian world" solution, but one he thinks this ol' world isn't ready for.

Jim Antle raises the idea that Paul is deliberately shifting his immigration focus "perhaps in anticipation of competition with the more conventionally open-borders libertarian Republican Gary Johnson." This strikes me as extremely unlikely; read Liberty Defined in its entirely and it's hard to detect any pandering to any audience about anything in it. It doesn't read like a campaign document seeking votes or voters; it reads like a committed man explaining what he thinks about things. Besides, there is probably little juice to be gained in GOP primaries by being even mildly pro-immigration.

And while Johnson told me he repudiates the idea on further thought, an early pamphlet from his "Our America: The Gary Johnson Initiative" says that he believes "Verification systems must be used for all workers," a restrictive idea Paul with his opposition to Real I.D. and to forcing employers to help enforce immigration laws has always been against.

My review of Liberty Defined will be in Reason magazine's July issue. Subscribe today!

NEXT: Reason Writers on Russia Today: Matt Welch Talks Osama Bin Laden and New Media on The Alyona Show

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. It is to Ron Paul’s immense credit that he is a man of evolving, not static, views. Tancredo is a fool.

    1. Max|4.28.11 @ 7:44PM|#|show direct|ignore
      The subject of this thread [Ron Paul] is a fucking crazy. You can’t get any crazier than a racist, homophobic batshit john bircher.

      You get back on your meds Max?

      1. Better…clearer these days.

        That’s what the therapist at the halfway house said.

  2. Ron Paul, he’s cool.

    Why no Liveblog of the Canadian Election, eh?

    The Bloc wiped out in Quebec, NDP wins the left vote split, Conservatives run away with the centre-right.

    1. There was plenty of coverage of their future King’s wedding.

  3. Ron Paul’s immigration views are basically the only thing that makes him a Republican. Gary Johnson should build up support in the Republican primary, drop out when Mitch Daniels becomes the clear frontrunner, and quickly bring his supporters along to the Libertarian Party ticket…possibly with RP as his running-mate. I can sense a 1 to 5 million vote turnout for the LP in the general election. Not much, but enough to put a dent in the debate.

    1. Holy fuck, what about expanded debates? Hell, I’d also welcome the Commies to the debates. Drawn out Team Red and Team Blue as much as you can.

      1. *drown

  4. Tom Tancredo is one of these fools who makes odd statements such as calling for the bombing Islamic holy sites to fight terrorism. I’ll go along with that if at the same time we bomb the Vatican to fight child-rape.

    1. I just watched the movie “Salt” (it was watch instantly on Netflix). It wasn’t good, but the most plausible thing in that movie was the idea that if we nuked Mecca it would set off a new (and basically permanent) war.

  5. Can we stop pretending ‘birthright citizenship’ is a problem?

    Tell you what, I’ll support stripping ‘anchor babies’ their right to be U.S. Citizens upon birth if every politician in the U.S. can pass the damn citizenship test we make every legal immigrant take to become a citizen.

    1. If Ron Paul truly believed in “natural rights” he would be for open borders.

    2. I’d end birthright citizenship for everyone.

      Either become a citizen on your 18th birthday by a constitutional oath of allegiance and basic citizenship requirements, or we force you the hell out. I’d much rather have immigrants in this country who agree to protect it and uphold (and know) the law than a bunch of entitled S.S.-grubbing freeloaders who love Amuurrrrika as a concept and not as a concrete entity.

      Does that make me a fascist? =)

      (But seriously. I do approve of this.)

      1. Yes that makes you a fascist d-bag.

      2. I don’t think it’s too extreme to require an 18 year old to take an oath of allegiance once in order to get his citizenship. Few people question the daily oath of allegiance to the flag and the republic that children in every public school start their school days with.

        1. Mmmm, that’s some tasty chauvinism.

      3. And remember, Service Guarantees Citizenship!

        Would you like to know more?

      4. “Does that make me a fascist? =)”

        Who writes the oath?

        Imagine the oath written by your political opposite, or Tancredo, or Barney Frank.

        Or just imagine an oath that has made it through the political and bureaucratic processes.

        Do you really think it’s such a good idea?

  6. Immigration seems to be making more headlines in recent years. As the world globalize immigration opened up more easily.

  7. Thanks for sharing nice article with us.

  8. No legally compelled bilingualism.

    I have no issue with this. Though I don’t believe in legally compelled monolingualism as well. The bilingualism that immigration hawks bitch about most, (read: Para espanol marque dos) isn’t legally compelled. I also have little issue with states determining that a significant proportion of their population speaks another language and providing materials in those language. There’s no part of the Constitution that mandates English.

    1. And if it did, it would be wrong. Government is to serve the people, no matter what language they speak, and not the other way around.

    2. The bilingualism that immigration hawks bitch about most, (read: Para espanol marque dos) isn’t legally compelled.

      Oh, I dunno. Hospitals (and I am sure others) are, in fact, legally compelled to have translators and documents for a wide, wide range of languages.

  9. I’d be proud to have VDare criticize me.

  10. At least Ron Paul is halfway there on immigration.
    Rand Paul wants to build a giant electric fence or something.

    1. “generous visitor worker program”

      depending how generous, is way more than 1/2 way.

      My “generous visitor worker program” would be “can you pass a basic background check?” If so, here is your greencard.

      As far as Im concerned, that is virtually an open border. And anyone caught crossing elsewhere* is a foreign invader and can be shot on sight.

      *exceptions for political refugees, we wont shoot cubans on intertubes.

      Current illegals? Go back to border and get your background check done.

      Ending welfare, free ed, free health care. Okay.

      NO birthright citizenship? Would require a constitution change, but Im okay with it. Or not. Doesnt affect open border status either way.

      What am I missing? How is his suggestion only 1/2 way?

  11. Gucci store at Hong Kong, selling Authentic Gucci online now by a discounted price. As we all know,to buy fake Gucci is not only vulgar but also illegal, visit our store as we will teach you how to spot the fake Gucci,moreover, we’d like to offer chances to buy authentic gucci,gucci tote,gucci boston,gucci sukey,gucci hobo,gucci sukey in an affordable price, to extend our business to a larger scale.

  12. Je trouvais l’id?e s?duisante, partir pour un Trip Surf au Pays Basque en fin de saison ( derni?re semaine de septembre ) en restant connect?, pour connaitre l’?tat des spots et les pr?visions et accessoirement transmettre quelques courriels avec photos aux copains et copines rest? au pays.

  13. It doesn’t make sense to even consider amnesty until we fix the current immigration laws. We should raise the number of Diversity Visas to 1 million per year and open up the Diversity Visa program to people from all countries.

    1. Forget it! That’s going to attract even more people!

      http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

    2. Frankly we should let farmers and contractors set up hiring tables at every entry point.

  14. Folks, immigration, legal or illegal is NOT a right! Take for example tiny countries like Luxembourg or San Marino, do you think they want to welcome tens of thousands of Libyan refugees? I doubt it!

    The fact is that immigration is a privilege, countries choose who they want. In a way it’s almost like the military, they don’t just take anyone, they take people who are psychologically sane, pass the ASVAV, are fit, are of a certain age and height, don’t have a serious criminal record (some crimes can be forgiven, others can’t), etc.

    Immigration is the same! Do you want Juanita to bring her 10 kids here? What if Paco is retarded? Who’s gonna take care of him?

    http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

    1. You do realize that libertarianism is not synonymous with fascism, right?

      1. I am certainly not a fascist.
        #1. I don’t waste time with concentration camps.
        #2. I don’t like telling people what to do.
        #3. I’m politically incorrect.

    2. I think we can compromise.

      We don’t need to go back to before 1875, when there was no law restricting immigration at all. We can just go back to 1882, when convicts or those likely to become public charges were denied entry.

    3. Do you want Juanita to bring her 10 kids here?

      If she’s hot, yes.

    4. Folks, immigration, legal or illegal is NOT a right!

      Care to explain to us what right allows you to prevent someone from immigrating?

      Take for example tiny countries like Luxembourg or San Marino, do you think they want to welcome tens of thousands of Libyan refugees? I doubt it!

      How does this demonstrate if immigration is a right or not? What people want has nothing to do with such desires being their “right”.

      The fact is that immigration is a privilege, countries choose who they want.

      This is a fact in the legal sense, but not by any sense of “rights”. And since we know that legality is dynamic, this is not sufficient to argue for or against immigration as a right.

      In a way it’s almost like the military, they don’t just take anyone, they take people who are psychologically sane, pass the ASVAV, are fit, are of a certain age and height, don’t have a serious criminal record (some crimes can be forgiven, others can’t), etc.

      Immigration is the same! Do you want Juanita to bring her 10 kids here? What if Paco is retarded? Who’s gonna take care of him?

      Has the meme of Mexicans being criminals and drug dealers lost its attraction that you are now forced to concoct fantasies of hordes of Mexicans with Down’s Syndrome flooding the US?

      1. “Care to explain to us what right allows you to prevent someone from immigrating?”

        How about Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the constitution? I would guess if Article I, section 8, clause 3 of the constitution (which allows congress to regulate commerce among the several states) means congress can prohibit something, then Article I, Section 8, clause 4 of the constitution (which allows congress to establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization) would allow congress to prohibit immigration.

        1. Naturalization is not immigration.

          1. what kind of nonsense is that? why would you have to be naturalized if you didn’t immigrate?

            1. While naturalization implies immigration, immigration does not imply naturalization.

              Therefore the authority — not the right, but the authority — to make rules for naturalization does not imply the authority to make rules for immigration.

        2. How about Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the constitution?

          This is a Constitutional power, not a “right”. The government grants itself various powers, but this fact is not the same thing as a “right”. Government used Constitutional powers to legalize slavery; does this mean that slavery is a right?

          Greg’s statement was “legal or illegal, immigration is not a right”, thereby making the Article 1 irrelevant.

    5. Immigration is the same! Do you want Juanita to bring her 10 kids here?

      Yes. Immigration is the only thing that’s preventing us from having the tottering, geriatric demographics of Japan.

  15. Well that dude makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Wow.

    http://www.real-privacy.es.tc

  16. The problem I have with ending “birthright citizenship” is that in switching from jus soli to jus sanguinis, we are moving away from a paradigm of citizenship that has existed since America’s founding. “American” is not a “blood and soil” race, in the Old World sense. The United States has always been a nation whose community has been defined by a set of shared cultural values, not some nebulous concept of shared ethnicity.

    It is ironic that so-called “conservatives” seem to be the ones calling for the establishment of jus sanguinis citizenship, a concept that has been alien to American identity since its founding.

    1. As with many issues this can’t be seen in black and white (no secondary meaning intended). The acceptability of an immigrant should be based upon his or hers prospective ability to contribute to our country, not what the country can do for them (an echo of somebody’s inaugural speech?) As I noted in aother response, Jindahl addressed the issue in his book Leadership and Crises. Are we to be the homeess shelter for the world? Of course that’s on Lady Liberty’s statue, but as I noted above, the noble sentiments such as this must be considered with a bit of restraint. We’ll take your wretched refuse if in turn that refuse wll become a productive citizen, not another welfare burden. Perhaps the “extremists” who suggest exchanging some of our welfare cases for other countries’ doctor and lawyers are not all that far off the mark. Read Lindahl’s book about the Google exec and his wife.

  17. “American” is not a “blood and soil” race, in the Old World sense.

    And in the Old World, “blood and soil” is as much social construct as it is biology. Consider that Italy has been a unified nation since the ancient days of 1870. And north is constantly bitching about the south, “Africa starts south of Rome.” France contains a bunch of different nations – Breton, Basque Country, Proven?al, etc. – held together through centuries of force and regional repression.

  18. The decay of Western civilization: Double relaxed Darwinian Selection
    Helmuth Nyborg
    University of Aarhus (1968?2007), Adslev Skovvej 2, 8362 Horning, Denmark

    abstract
    This article briefly describes Lynn’s view on what makes modern populations rise and fall. It then provides a demographic analysis of what happens to modern sub-fertile high-IQ Western populations when Internal Relaxation of Darwinian Selection (IRDS) combines with External Relaxation (ERDS, in the form of super-fertile low-IQ non-Western immigration) into Double Relaxation of Darwinian Selection (DRDS). The genotypic IQ decline will ruin the economic and social infrastructure needed for quality education, welfare, democracy and civilization. DRDS is currently unopposed politically, so existing fertility differentials may eventually lead to Western submission or civil resistance.

    https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/nyborg-2011-the-decay-of-western-civilization-double-relaxed-darwinian-selection.pdf

    It’s safe to ignore evolution and genetics because they’re not nearly as important as maintaining an emotionally rewarding ideology.

    1. It’s safe to ignore evolution and genetics because they’re not nearly as important as maintaining an emotionally rewarding ideology.

      And by “emotionally rewarding ideology” you mean Pioneer Fund-type scientific racism, yes?

      1. The paper linked by HarHar gets most of its data from Richard Lynn.

        Richard Lynn likes to give IQ tests to immigrants in their non-native tongue and declare that the people that live in that country, i.e. not the population actually tested, have a subnormal IQ. Oh yeah, he’s also funded by the Pioneer Fund.

        Those like Lynn and the authors of HarHar’s study like to make extraordinary claims without presenting extraordinary evidence. But they get funded because, like said above, they provide cover for emotionally rewarding ideology.

  19. A generous guest worker program could make a lot of the other problems go away by themselves. Who wants to maintain a family in poverty in the USA when he makes enough to support a middle class family in Guatemala? Guest workers will deport their own families. We can throw in some one way tickers, and it will be American Airlines, not the USA Army doing the transportation.

  20. I wonder if it would take a Constitutional change to get rid of (or at least restrict) birthright citizenship. The Constitution says “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”, which I could see being read to ban dual citizenship.

    If, when you are born, you are a citizen of a foreign country (which is generally the case if your parents are citizens of that country), then you are subject to the jurisdiction of that country. Worse violence has been done to Constitutional language than to read “subject to the jurisdiction” to mean “subject to the exclusive jurisdiction”.

    1. If you are within the borders of the US you are subject to the jurisdication of the US. Unless you are a diplomat with a white card.

      Don’t try to twist the language to make it mean what you want it to mean. If you are on US soil you follow US laws, that’s what US jurisdiction means. If you’re a Mexican who gets a traffic ticket in the US, it will be a US cop who writes it. If you’re a Canadian who gets caught committing a crime in the US, then you go to a US court.

      The exception is for diplomats, who have sovereign immunity. Which is why children born to diplomats on US soil are not citizens.

  21. In Hans-Hermann Hoope’s anarchotopia, the only national borders would be the barbed wires surrounding his white-supremacist compound.

    1. It is pretty incredible. Pages upon pages that prove that if a state says that private property is state property, it is! And that the state inherits all the rights it cares to claim!

      It is the most statist argument that a statist can make, much less an anarchist. Not only that, but I think Hoppe gets the natural equilibrium completely wrong.

      Which is more likely, that none of your community will want to allow migrants onto his property, or that a few of your community will want to allow migrants onto his property and thus spoil the unanimity required to keep them out? As Brandybuck notes, the former is the very extreme and very small case. The latter will dominate in an anarchy.

      1. “Which is more likely, that none of your community will want to allow migrants onto his property, or that a few of your community will want to allow migrants onto his property and thus spoil the unanimity required to keep them out?”

        Good thing continual unanimity isn’t required in a contractual agreement.

        “As Brandybuck notes, the former is the very extreme and very small case.” The latter will dominate in an anarchy.”

        There is no way to prove what would dominate in anarchy.

    2. White-supremacism is compatible with libertarianism.

  22. ARRIVING VERY SHORTLY?

    E-Verify! E-Verify! E-Verify! Must be–MANDATED–by Federal law that identifies every Americans, old and new hires throughout America; rejecting illegal aliens from the workplace. This is ATTRITION BY ENFORCEMENT. Other enforcement tools to be enacted permanently such as Secure Communities, to fingerprint and process every alleged criminal by local police. All Americans should demand these immigration innovations from our Senators and Representatives. If they resent your interests and disregard you, then join the TEA PARTY, as they will enforce the 1986 Immigration law. Stop the growth of Government; lessen your taxes, specially the hundreds of billions of dollars being extorted from you, in supporting illegal aliens and the 300.000 foothold babies annually. Under the TEA PARTY ultimatum; No more amnesties, Dream Act, Sanctuary Cities and States, No more Chain Migration or Immigration Reforms of any kind.

    TEA PARTY membership is rising by the tens of millions, which are becoming a positive power inside Washington.

    IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED THAT STATES THAT DO NOT AUTHOR BILLS TO HALT THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ALREADY SETTLED THERE, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS WILL BE ON THEIR WAY FROM LESS HOSPITABLE STATES. AS FLORIDA STRIPPED ENFORCEMENT E-VERIFY FROM ITS POLICY, THEY TOO WILL BE INVADED BY THE ILLEGAL ECONOMIC POOR. JUST LIKE UTAH FLORIDA WILL HAVE TO HIRE MORE TEACHERS, MORE HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, BUILD MORE PRISONS AND ADD MORE CASH TO THEIR WELFARE PROGRAMS TO SUBSIDIZE THE AVALANCHE OF MORE ILLEGAL ALIENS.

    Oh! And here comes the (ACLU) American Communist Lawyers Union out of the rancid woodwork, full of Marxist and Anarchist believing we should pay for illegal aliens who come here?

    One of our greatest deterrents is for American workers to become a “WHISTLE BLOWER” to identify illegal labor in your company’s domain. Then call ICE or even your Police Department. If not satisfied, leave a message with NumbersUSA as they have people in Washington.

    Throw out every politician who condone the 20 million plus illegal aliens and expeditiously dispatch to the street every Governor, Mayor, Police Chief and every elected official and replace them with genuine patriotic American Tea Party activists. The TEA PARTY is all Americans and legally accepted resident. We are a nation of laws that President Obama and his Czarist retinue seem to not accept. Both Republican leaders and Democrats, with a sprinkling of hard core Liberals have failed us for decades. Call every State Representative and Washington, to stop this parody of our laws. Very urgent is we must be vigilant of illegal aliens voting in our elections. Four States election results were compromised in the previous midterm election.Ron Paul has just been determined as soft on Illegal immigration, according to his latest book. He has probably wrecked his chances in the eyes of Pro-Sovereignty members in NumbersUSA, the Tea Party and others. However Sen. Rand Paul in his letter to me, stated, ” “I also believe that subsidizing something creates more of it, and I do not think the American taxpayer should be forced to pay for welfare, medical care and other expenses for illegal immigrants. I will work to stop those taxpayer funded benefits.”

    See the truth and not lies at NumbersUSA website. Sanctuary states as California are screaming about 30.000 teachers being laid off, but if they were not flooded with millions of illegal invaders they wouldn’t have this almost unfathomable problem? How many other States have massive deficits like California, with a 26 billion dollar deep red ink? We will always take to our hearts newly arrived–LEGALLY PROCESSED highly skilled labor that will not be leeching welfare services. There will never, ever be a place in America who steals past poorly manned borders or on expired travel visas. Our nation has become a universal magnet for every economic migrant and immigrant worldwide, with free access to schools for their children and free meals at school, free health care, plus food stamps, fraudulent tax rebates, home care and every other conceivable benefit that States and the federal government offers.

  23. For the most intelligent comments on immigration policy, I suggest reading Bobby Jindahl’s book “Leadershiip and Crises. I believe his suggested policy will appeal to persons across a broad spectrum of political thought.

  24. Isn’t VDARE pretty much some attempt to be a more intellectual KKK? Why should anyone care to defend against smears from them (or Tancredo)? How much “ink” would be wasted on defending against David Duke or Stormfront saying Ron Paul is soft on immigration or not sufficiently racist? What’s the difference?

    I think, in this context, being called “soft on immigration” should be taken as a compliment. Besides I don’t see how anyone who praises Hoppe and/or wants to end birthright citizenship could be soft on immigration. Those are pretty anti-immigrant policies. Plus Ron Paul is the guy who, when given the funds to run commercials and finally decided to use them on one, focused hiss campaign on making a pandering “Wetback” commercial.

    For all his principled principleyness and libertarianyness, this is one issue ( among) others where it seems like Paul’s beliefs/proposals are more political than principled.

  25. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every
    little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.